The Ruins of Cambrai
French Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau and Field Marshal Douglas Haig of the British Army inspect the ruins of the French city of Cambrai in this clip from the Australasian Gazette newsreel.
Production Company: Australasian Gazette
Source: National Film and Sound Archive of Australia
Catalogue Reference: NFSA title:1553947
Location: Cambrai, France
Cambrai had been occupied by the German army since 1914. The Allied Forces, led by the British, used tanks as a decisive element in the battle that took the Germans by surprise. Australian involvement in the battle was by way of a flying unit which, according to Melbourne’s The Age newspaper, counted the loss of 18 German aeroplanes in its despatch.
In addition to the destruction caused by the attack, the German soldiers burned buildings in the city centre before fleeing the scene.
These remarkable background images of devastation supplied Australian and New Zealand newsreel audiences with a stark reminder, if they needed it, of the destruction caused by war.